The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is putting final touches on its new West Virginia Catholic Heritage Centre before the building’s inauguration and dedication tomorrow.
Bishop Bernard W. Schmitt will preside over the dedication and bless the three-storey centre, which was formerly an auto parts building. It was purchased by the diocese in February 2001 and underwent an intricate restoration process since then.
The building was remodeled to include space for diocesan offices and archives on the second floor, and museum-quality exhibits and a conference area on the third floor. The diocese plans to rent the first floor to a retail establishment.
The Centre Wheeling holds a special significance for the diocese – the first mass in West Virginia was celebrated just a few feet away from the heritage centre site.
Although work on the building is almost complete, it will be another year before the archives – which will include documents, artifacts, vintage vestments and chalices – are properly catalogued and ready for the public.
The heritage centre is located at 2000 Main St. in Centre Wheeling in Wheeling, West Virginia.